This afternoon we are pleased to release the newest vintage of Vega Sicilia Valbuena 5°. In 2014, Valbuena has been awarded 96 points from James Suckling who says ‘the ripeness is impressive here… it delivers darker fruit aromas and flavors, black cherries and plums, dark chocolate and licorice’ concluding that ‘the power and freshness here is extraordinary. Deeply layered. Superb’. The score of 96 is its equal highest ever and the 2014 priced today at £250 per case of three represents very attractive access to one of the finest wines in Spain.
Vega Sicilia is the most significant wine producer in Spain, considered amongst the greatest in the world. Their property is found 700 metres above sea level in the shallow Spanish part of the Duero River valley on the high remote plateau of Castilla y Leon. This unique climate delivers cold nights and hot days, allowing the grapes to become beautifully ripe and develop wonderful tannic structure, with a delightful backbone of acidity and therefore superb balance.
The Valbuena 5° takes its name from the village where it is produced. It is aged for less time than the Unico or the Reserva Especial with the 5° designating the years it has been aged before release. The wine is made from younger vines, although their aggregate age would compete with most other leading wines. It has a similar blend to its older brother Unico and the Valbuena 5° is best thought of as a younger sibling. It retains the cherry colour, and special, subtle oxidative evolution boasting espresso, bay leaf, refined tannins, cedar, mocha and incredible charm. It is released younger because it can be enjoyed sooner, spending three years aging in barrel and two years in bottle. It is aged in new barrels, 50% French oak, imparting vanilla, toast and brioche, as well as 50% in American oak, adding coconut and spice. Tinto Fino (Tempranillo) forms the backbone of Vega Sicilia’s wines, a grape with great resilience to oxidation. The Valbuena is made from 95% Tinto Fino and 5% Merlot, from vineyards that boast no yields exceeding 32 hectolitres per acre with vines between aged 25 and 30 years old.
If you want to experience the grandeur of the Unico at a more affordable level, the Valbuena is the perfect choice. With 96 points the 2014 outscores the majority of Vega Sicilia Unico vintages, which costs three times more.
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